While I write this, I am looking out of my office window onto the dreariest day ever - typical of the run up to the August Bank Holiday weekend. I am lucky enough to be escaping to my beloved Fethiye for a few days on Friday, which I managed to time brilliantly (not) with the start of Celebrity Big Brother - so I may have to give it a miss this time around, as least far as observing the housemates' antics from the CBBBOTS sofa.
Unusually for July and August, traditionally quieter months of the year, I have been inundated with work for the past few weeks. Unexpected but welcome, especially as I haven't missed much sunshine.
TV wise, I have had my regular slots on C5 News, with topics varying from why people feel the need to film and record and every event they go to these days to the fall out from the Ashley Madison hacking. That was an interesting day, not since Gwynnie's 'conscious uncoupling' from Chris Martin, have I rushed around the TV channels quite so much. In addition to Channel Five, I also covered it for Sky News and Channel 4. Lots of radio the past few weeks too, ranging from discussing whether it's a good idea to Google our symptoms on BBC Radio London to doing a phone on anti-depressants on LBC with Nick Ferrari.
The summer months tend to be a bit quiet coaching wise - the peak months for both singles and couples are September (post summer-holidays) and January (post-Christmas) - but I have been doing a lot of what I really enjoy this month, writing for magazines and newspapers. It's always so varied - and often unexpected - that the challenge never fails to keep me on my toes.
I always love doing my regular celebrity observations for New! magazine and over the past few weeks I have written for them about a number of celebrities, including Cheryl Cole (twice) and of course the fabulous Katie Price, without which no month would seem complete ;-)
I have also written for The Sun on Sunday about what the Labour leadership candidates body language reveals about their leadership qualities, The Sun on why people would pay money to be trolled on social media (yes, it's actually a 'thing') Marie Claire on the future of sex and genetic dating and The Telegraph Wonder Women column on ghosting. Which if you didn't know it, is when you're dating someone and they suddenly disappear without any explanation. It can be a distressing experience and one which is clearly on the rise, as I also wrote about it for Grazia.
It's reassuring to be invited back to write for magazines and papers a number of times over a couple of weeks, so I also wrote for Grazia on anorgasmia (women who can't have an orgasm...), Woman's Own on how Carol Vorderman has changed over the years and what to do if you find yourself unexpectedly single and twice for Metro, once on the suggestion that prostitution should be decriminalised due to men's high sex drives (!) and the other on the sending of 'Dick pics', another one of those dating phenomena, also on the, er, rise...
Other than that, it's also been a busy time for PR work, with jobs ranging for conducting a scientific experiment on whether our attraction levels drop in response to bad driving for the Institute of Advanced Motoring and how we judge our dates on what they choose to eat in a restaurant for TGI Friday's.
Oh and I have also filmed a documentary for Channel 4. I'm not allowed to say much about it at the moment, but it was TOTALLY not what I was expecting and I can honestly say that I have never done TV like it in my life! It's not due to be broadcast for a few months, so I'll leave you with that thought for now...
I need a holiday ;-) Enjoy the rest of the month, and I'll see you in September.
Here I am sitting in my office on the hottest day of the year - for many years if the news is anything to go by - with fingers sliding off the keyboard, thinking how much we long for the hot weather and then find it so difficult to deal with it when we get it! I guess that's a British thing...
My work pattern seems to change as rapidly as our seasons. It used to be that Jan, Feb and March were the really busy months, while the summer meant things would quieten down. Not so this year - especially PR wise. There are a fair few campaigns needing some psychological advice at the moment - anything from dealing with adult acne to the well being properties of cod liver oil!
And celebrities being celebrities, summer sees an upsurge in naughty behaviour. I have written for New magazine on Kate Moss being unruly on her flight back from Turkey and those boys from TOWIE behaving badly in Marbs. And Essex. I love my weekly comments for them, other topics over the last few weeks have included why Kym Marsh has been engaged three times but never makes it up the aisle and of course no month would be complete without writing about Katie Price, this time on her attitude to aging. Go girl, I say - do whatever makes you feel good.
TV wise, it's been a busy time too. I've been on Good Morning Britain talking about the difference between male and female drivers and Channel Five News on the emotional impact of using emojis in social media and on our texts and what the colour red says about us.
I love doing a bit of radio and it's always a pleasure to be on LBC. I have been interviewed a number of times in the last month or so. The topics have varied from our indecision regarding the election to why we react so dramatically to age gap relationships, based on the grief Duncan Bannatyne got recently. And also on BBC London - again diverse topics ranging from why we take photos of accidents and incidents to how much we expect men to tip on a date. Diverse indeed...
I've also written for Woman's Own on why Amal Clooney has become so thin, the Daily Mail on body image and why some women won't let their husbands see them without any make up, the Sunday Mirror on how to help your children cope when a parent is doing a job that takes them away from home for long periods of time, The Sun on Johnny Wilkinson's obsessive exercise regime, Grazia on why some women never experience an orgasm and Psychologies magazine on working your way through the tough patches that all relationships go through. Phew - never a dull moment!
So of course, as I am about to go on holiday for a week, the weather in the UK hots up and work seems to becoming busier than ever. Not expecting you to feel sorry for me of course, but that iPad/phone is never far from my side wherever I am in the world, so unless you subsrcibne to this newlsetter, you might never know that I was away at all ;-)
And, er, not the slightest bit miffed that I booked my holiday while Big Brother is still on (so no BBBOTS for me!). Hmmm - keep me in touch on Twitter won't you?
Until next month, have a wonderful steamy July!
Nearly at the end of another busy month and I am off on holiday tomorrow - back to my beloved Fethiye for a short break, although by the time I get back we'll have a new government, a new royal baby and a brand new series of Big Brother starting, so will be refreshed and ready to see what the new raft of housemates are up to on BBBOTS.
I have had a lot of clients this month, which is great, although I really put my heart and soul into coaching, so sometimes I have to limit the numbers or it can get overwhelming. But if you're interested in dating coaching, either in person or via Skype, or couples counselling, you know where I am!
I have written for a number of magazines this month and always enjoy my weekly celebrity psychology comments in New magazine. In the past few weeks, I have written about Victoria Beckham and how she has evolved over the years, whether Mark Wright is feeling insecure now his soon-to-be-missus Michelle Keegan was voted sexiest woman of the year in FHM magazine and of course, no month would be complete without writing about Katie Price. In this case whether her posting pics of her daughter Princess and saying how much she looked like her when she was younger, was a bit of yearning for her own youth. I look forward to seeing what photos New send me each week, but even I was taken aback to see a seriously leaves-little-to-the-imagination shot of Dan Osborne staring back at me from my desktop! Not that I was complaining, but I did think Jacqueline Jossa must have had a few mixed feelings about her partner (almost) baring all...
I've also written for Grazia on whether our friends are becoming more demanding or narcissistic, Women's Weekly on how I keep healthy (not such an easy one!) and advice for Men's Health on creating the best Tinder profile. Along the lines of 'no football kit/drunken holiday shots however hilarious they were at the time' lines.
A few TV appearances too, including a couple of Channel Five News following a survey on gender differences between our visions of idealised beauty and also on why some of overshare on social media. Not me obvs ;-)
A few PR jobs too. I always enjoy my radio days, talking about the psychology of various behaviours as a result of associated surveys, even though the products/brands are hugely varied. This month included Stubhub the ticket people and Bloo toilet cleaning products!
Right, that's me done. Off to Turkey soon. Have a lovely couple of Bank Holidays and see you next month.
A joint Feb and March newsletter this time. The first quarter of the year is always busy with coaching - including a few interesting celebrities - but of course it's always the part of my job that complete confidentiality prevent me from ever writing about. And now nearly Spring - loving the lighter evenings and my favourite day of the year (now I've stopped counting birthdays!) has to be the clocks going forward on Sunday - I am definitely not a winter person...
I still managed to fit in some writing work and as my regular followers will know, no month is complete without writing about Katie Price, this time for New magazine. Amongst other pieces I also wrote for them on the highs and lows of Beyonce's and J-Z's marriage and how they have managed to deal with it all. That's in next week's magazine if you fancy a look. Alternatively if you're a Woman's Own reader, I have just written on why people are hating on Holly Willoughby for them. That was a tough one for me - she has always been a delight to work with on This Morning and I can only imagine it's because there are some trolls out there who give her grief simply for the fact she's beautiful, talented and has a pretty happy and enviable life. Perfect troll territory - unfortunately.
I've also written for Heat magazine on Kylie Jenner's lifestyle and the impossibly-tiny-waist that Cinderella has and what that's saying about body image for young and impressionable girls. Other work included writing on what celebrity kitchens say about their owners for The Sun and how to deal with your partner being away from home for long periods of time for The Sunday Mirror.
And of course last month saw the launch of the long-awaited 50 Shades of Grey movie. I loved it and went on Channel Five News to debate the fact that given we're all grown ups, with the ability to tell fact from fiction/reality from fantasy, that it posed no threat to women in terms of potential abuse!
Lots of radio these past two months as well, with topics ranging from whether you can be in love with two people at once and is it wrong to fancy your mother-in-law ;-)
I've also been asked to give a talk at iDate this year, which is the dating industry's massive international conference, being held later this year in London. It's quite an honour to be asked, now I've just got to work out what I am going to talk about!
I've also been invited to join a new venture run by Jeff Brazier. Come Coach With Me is a selected handful of top coaches in the UK, so am looking forward their inaugural meeting next month and great things happening from them.
I'll sign off now - so have a fabulous weekend don't miss that hour we're about to lose, enjoy those light evenings instead!
Well, here we are, just out of January. Always seems like such a long month, with Christmas packed safely away for another year and any chance of another break/sunshine MONTHS away! In my world, Jan is always one of the busiest months of the year. Especially in coaching terms. From singles vowing to never spend another Christmas alone again to couples who have struggled over the festive period. And of course it's the month for new beginnings, so people are always looking for a psychologist's comment to help inspire others to make/keep their resolve.
I have also written and contributed to fair few features this month. Hugely varied as ever. From giving a few sexy resolutions to Fabulous magazine and places to have sex outside of the bedroom for Glamour - both designed to kick start your new year in style ;-) Other aspects of relationships haven't been neglected either and I've also written for the Daily Mail on how celebrity couples manage to stay friends after a break up and what we might learn from them and Woman's Own on living together in the same house after you've separated and what impact that might have on your kids. Other writing included a psychological view of why crime dramas are so popular for Entertainmentwise and how we can get back to the simpler days of our early relationships for The Huffington Post. And while I've been helping Ann Summers with their erotic writing competition (and quite an eye opener it was too!) I've also managed to write for the sexiest magazine of them all, Cosmopolitan on how we should behave in the workplace, rather than the bedroom ;-) And of course, no month would be complete without writing about Katie Price - this time for Now magazine.
And talking of the fabulous Miss Katie Price (yes, I am a HUGE fan) I couldn't have been any more excited to see her enter the Celebrity Big Brother house. Finally! It's been an amazing series - and while it's been such a busy month for me, I was delighted to at least squeeze in one appearance on Celebrity Big Brother's Bit On The Side which was as thrilling as ever, although having a selfie taken at the end of the show, while standing next to the lovely Rylan, who maybe the tallest man I've ever met, made my tiny 5ft foot frame look like it belonged to another species! I don't what I am going to do with these long winter evenings when the series finishes this Friday...
Anyway, I'll sign off now. For those that love it, have a wonderful Vallie's Day. And for those that don't, be rest assured that I'll be dodging going out that night too! I may still be recovering from seeing 50 Shades of Grey on Friday 13th - an inauspicious day but a movie I am really looking forward to.
Until next month, keep up the Twitter banter and much love
- October - and Big November News!
A couple of weeks late with this month's blog - but for very good reasons. Well, I think so anyway. I was hanging on in there for the UK Dating Awards on Thursday 13th November. This is the first year of an Awards Ceremony that celebrates achievement right across the dating industry, from bloggers and journalists to major online dating companies. I was up for Dating Expert of the Year - an honour enough to be nominated, but I was absolutely thrilled to win! While I have been a Dating Coach for over 10 years now, I was up against some formidable and well-respected individuals, so had warned those lovely people who were kind enough to come along and support me to brace themselves for disappointment. But I was wrong - and am delighted to have won, especially in their first year.
October is always a busy month, not just for dating coaching with all those singles hoping to find love before Christmas but there's a frenzy of PR activity this month too.
Many of you will know me more for being a psychologist (or maybe just a reality TV tweeter!?) rather than a dating expert, but I tend to specialise in relationships of one sort of another. In fact quite a lot of my media work this month has been dating/relationship based from discussing sexting on Channel Five News, dating trends for 2015 for Glamour magazine and why we lose weight when we fall in love for Good Morning Britain where I was on the sofa with Big Brother's Josie Gibson, looking both svelte and beautiful these days. I also had an interesting debate on online dating with a couple of journalists on Voice of Russia radio. It wasn't live and got quite heated - in the nicest possible way - but I did feel for the poor editor who had to cut our 'enthusiasm' down to just a half hour programme!
Other TV worked included being back on my favourite telly sofa, This Morning, doing a feature and a phone in on how to cope with stress and recognise the signs of a nervous breakdown.
Writing wise, I have contributed to The Daily Telegraph and Woman's Own this month. The latter, oddly, on why Lorraine Kelly is so disliked. I didn't know she was to be honest - always seems like a genuine, old-school presenter to me. It seems she's not touchy-feely enough for some, which leads some viewers to distrust her. Who knew ;-)?
And always a pleasure to write my regular body language column in New! magazine and now Katie Price has resurfaced, post her umpteenth baby, it was good to be writing about her again. I'd almost forgotten how much time she takes up in my celebrity psychology remit...
And of course tis the season for reality TV, which keeps me busy at work and at play. A bit disappointed by this year's X Factor contestants (singing wise, not psychologically!) but I'm hoping the gorgeous Fleur will win. Unfortunately - and those who know me will confirm this - I rarely manage to predict any winners of these shows. Just as well I am a psychologist not not a psychic ;-)
Tonight sees the launch of the daddy of all reality TV shows, I'm a Celebrity which is always a red letter day in TV watching calendar, so on that note, I'll sign off and see some of you on Twitter laters.
Well, that's it - September done and and dusted. Is it just me or did it disappear in a flash? Least it was a warm, dry flash. I even managed to catch a few days away, early in the month, in my beloved Fethiye. Feeling Turkish sun on my skin, especially when cooled by a gentle sea breeze (both of the alcoholic and non alcoholic sort!) somehow seems a whole lot more pleasant than the sticky, city-summer sort. But back to work...
September is one of my busiest coaching months. It's a combination of singles who don't want to spend another summer alone - and are perhaps looking forward to having something more than a simple gift to unwrap this Christmas - and couples, who have spent a two-week holiday together, often in that place called abroad where wifi/social media can be sparse - deciding that their relationship isn't quite what it used to be.
However busy I am, I'll always make time to be back on my favourite TV sofa at This Morning. In the wake of the DLT conviction, I was discussing sexual harassment. Quite different from sexual abuse of course and I was surprised - and saddened - to get so many calls and emails on the phone in part of the show, which focused on sexual abuse and the subsequent trauma that goes with that. But I finally got to meet Amanda Holden, who is standing in for Holly Willoughby while she's on maternity leave. I reckon she did a great job, though she's a tiny slip of a thing - I had to try to concentrate and not stare at her ;-)
Writing this month has been as varied as ever. From my regular column on what's-really-going-on body language shenanigans of celebrities in New! to writing about how those same sort of celebs might be feeling after their intimate photos were hacked and published for The Sun. I enjoyed my piece for Glamour especially on 'common sex problems in 2014' which included not being fearful of 'dirty' talk with your partner and encouraging him to share and enjoy your sex toys. Not sure why these are particularly pertinent to 2014, they seem perennial concerns to me!
One of the strangest features I contributed to this month was on how to deal with potentially strained relationships between Scotland and England post referendum for The Daily Telegraph. And also between neighbours/family/friends amongst the Scots themselves. While I am used to dealing with difficult relationships in my everyday professional life, I think it's the first time I've been asked to comment on a potential break up between two countries!
I also wrote for The Sunday Times in their Style Magazine on whether there is a sociopath in your marriage. A relatively light-hearted feature (well as light-hearted as sociopathy can be!) to help promote the launch of Gone Girl in the cinema. I loved the book and looking forward to seeing the film on Sunday.
So, that's a brief summary of September. More next month - meanwhile I'll be on Twitter @TVPsychologist wibbling along with the rest of you about Strictly, X Factor and the other reality TV that is our viewing consolation when summer draws to a close.
- July and August
I haven't written a blog for a few weeks, so it's good to be back. As well as July and August being quieter months media and client wise, I was struck down by some mysterious illness for several weeks, which was a bit unpleasant. Doc thought it might be Crohn's, but tests show not thankfully - so hopefully just a one-off. Anyway back to rude health now ;-)
I've still managed to fit in various TV programmes (the wonder of those make up girls, making me look half-decent even if I didn't feel it!) including a number of Sky News appearances varying from the MND Ice Bucket Challenge to digital mourning, following the untimely and sad death of Robin Williams.
Writing included a piece for the Daily Express on the 25th anniversary of 'When Harry Met Sally' (yes, I couldn't quite believe that either), The Times on retirement home options and why we should talk about it sooner rather than later and Mother and Baby on tribal baby names. As ever, my workload is always diverse.
I also gave a talk at Latitude Festival on dating and body language which was fun. And what a great festival it is - music, comedy, literary stuff, even dance. Well worth a visit if you get a chance. I was most excited about getting a T-shirt with my name on the back, even if it is in the smallest ever print, way down towards the bottom ;-)
I've also done a few guest slots on LBC, a radio station I love. Hopefully I will have some exciting news to impart on that soon - but for now I'll just say keep your fingers crossed for me!
I also continue to write my New! magazine column most weeks - amazingly while I have managed to cover the body language and behaviour of a number of celebrities, I only wrote about Katie Price once. It must be a quiet time for her. Or maybe she was having a baby. Or something.
And it wouldn't be right to sign off without thanking my loyal Twitter followers for sticking with me through my Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother rants. The editing is often questionable and there are at least three CBB contestants who would never have passed the psych tests back in C4 days! I'd love to work for C5 again, but think they need to clean up their act contestant wise - it may be entertaining but it can also be deeply uncomfortable viewing.
Anyway on that note, I'll sign off. Until next month we can keep in touch on Twitter @TVPsychologist.
- June newsletter
Hope you're enjoying this fine weather. As I sit here writing this, the sun is looking very tempting, but with a few clients today and even more deadlines, it'll just have to stay that way...
Of course, last month saw the start of Big Brother again. And much as I grizzle about the housemates and say that I won't get back into it again, it's been as irresistible as ever and I find myself caught up once again. Though I am off on holiday on Friday for 10 days, followed by doing a session on dating and body language at Latitude Festival, so I'll just have to learn to deal with any withdrawal symptoms ;-) For those of you who ask me why I am not on BBBOTS (and thank you for that) it's a bit complicated, but in essence I don't entirely agree with the way they choose/treat HM's (as you'll know from my tweets!) and anyway, it's much more fun not having any restrictions on what I can actually say about them...
As far as work is concerned, June was a busy month for all sorts of reasons, and it seems to be a really popular month for singles who want to get some advice on dating. I guess there's the whole summer stretching ahead of them. It gets much quieter during July and August, for obvious reasons, so if any of you would like some Dating Coaching, I am offering a 20% discount during those months. You know where to find me!
I was back on my favourite TV sofa a couple of weeks ago, discussing marriage sabbaticals on This Morning. I don't think they're a good idea and would be reluctant to ever suggest one to my clients, as it think that one partner often has some sort of an agenda, it masks - rather than directly deals with - the issues in your relationship and it's a pretty risky strategy. I was also on Sky News this week, discussing that blatant intrusion of user's privacy, where Facebook manipulated posts in order to test emotional reaction. Without actual informed consent, studies like these really violate users privacy and are considered pretty worthless psychologically.
I did a study for Last Minute - which did have the informed consent of the participants - on how spontaneity affects couples relationships. It was a two week study and clearly showed that while a degree of planned spontaneity is really positive for your relationship, too much unpredictability has the opposite effect. Anyway, it certainly raised some interest and I wrote features on it for the Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, The Sun and Female First amongst others.
I was also the psychologist for a great PR job with Simply Juice, which saw me working alongside such luminaries as Victoria Pendleton and Dr Christian as well as a fabulous nutritionist and a fitness expert. There was a lot of tummy sucking going on from me during both the photoshoot and the media day ;-)
I've also written for My Daily on whether WAGS are redundant now (given our abysmal world cup performance, I guess that has to be a 'yes'!) and Red on how to embrace - rather than fight - the changes that happen as we get older. And a piece on Jennifer Aniston's body language for New! She certainly gives the 'ownership' gesture a run for its money. Which would imply that she's not as secure in her relationship with Justin as she'd like to think.
I am also just about to write for New! again this afternoon. And, no surprise here, on Katie Price once again who has been using her radio show to give her, er, candid views on her ex-best pal's (the one that cheated with her husband) looks/age/appearance etc. Love her or loathe her, there's never a dull moment in Katie's life - and I have must have written about her way more than any other celebrity, ever!
Anyway, work to be done. Not to mention washing and packing. Have a good couple of weeks, keep me Twitter posted on Big Bro and I'll see you next month.
- May - nearly done already...
Hope this post finds you well. Sun just beginning to seep through some late afternoon haze, so let's hope we all have a good weekend weather wise.
Another busy month work wise. I have been doing a lot of PR in the last few weeks, one of the things that I really enjoy, though rarely mention in my newsletters. Being an expert for a new brand or product launch, usually involves getting stuck into a survey and giving my expert comment on the findings. Then they launch the Press Release into the media and fix up radio interviews, which are always fun. Sometimes the radio interviews can be literally back to back for several hours, a mix of pre-records and live, and I have a few favourite presenters that I am always happy to talk to, whatever the subject. Occasionally, the agencies are lucky enough to secure a TV interview too, which is how I found myself discussing the World Cup (or at least the fibs we tell, to make sure we can watch it) with Eamonn Holmes on Sky Sunrise last week. Now, for those that know me - via Twitter or anywhere else - you know that I am pretty clueless about football, so just feel grateful I didn't get asked any 'awkward' questions about the game itself! I also wrote a piece on my psychological interpretation of Ronaldo for The Sun, so maybe it's shaping up to be a football shaped summer for all of us.
I started the month by going on Good Morning Britain (Day 2, no less) which I was very excited about, as really wanted to see the new team/set in action. Sadly, I was discussing PTSD that those poor children must have been suffering after their teacher was stabbed to death. A distressing subject which understandably took a lot of the glitz off my excitement...
It's also been something of a torrid time for Katie Price. Whatever you think of her - and I know there's a lot of divided opinions out there - to be betrayed by both your husband and your best friend must be pretty devastating, especially when you're six months pregnant. I managed to take a week's holiday in my beloved Fethiye earlier this May and although it was rainy most of the time (definitely not what was ordered!) I had the slightly surreal experience of being called up by the Sunday Mirror on my views on why she seems to have such disastrous relationships, while on a boat trip in the middle of the Med on one of the few sunny days! The story continues to unravel, getting more graphic and bizarre by the moment, so I have also written something on her for next week's New! magazine.
In fact I seem to be writing for New! most weeks now on celebrities, which I love and have covered Kimye's marriage and that bizarre lift encounter with Beyonce. Solange and Jay-Z this month. Which I also wrote about for Look magazine and The Daily Express. There's never a dull moment in la-la land ;-)
So until the next celebrity meltdown, I'll sign off now. Have a great weekend!